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Tuesday, 6 September 1960

Mr WENTWORTH (Mackellar) .- I agree with the honorable member for Perth (Mr. Chaney) on the necessity for coordinating the construction of buildings with airstrips. It is a little difficult to know what is going to happen in this field. I suppose there are two contrary factors working. In the first place, it is likely that improvements in methods of taking off and requirements for landing strips will become higher. Oithe other hand, with the increase in the length of hop or the weight of load, the take-off is likely to increase. So it may be that, temporarily at any rate, we shall need longer runways. Whatever the developments might be, the terminal building we are discussing has to be adequate to the runway. It gives a very bad impression of Australia if the first terminal at which landing takes place is not adequate and does not provide the proper facilities for travellers. Those who have been abroad will know that the terminals overseas are on a rather more elaborate scale than those in Australia, and it is not altogether a true economy to pinch the pennies here.

Might I say in passing that while I support the proposed work being done in Perth, 1 hope it will not in any way impede the much more urgent jobs that have to be done at the Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) air terminal at Mascot. It handles and will continue to handle, I suppose, 90 per cent, of Australia's overseas air traffic and is rather more important. I think honorable members will agree that the overseas terminal at Mascot is not up to standard, and honorable members from New South Wales are a little perturbed at the failure to realize that the landing strips at Mascot have to be lengthened to the full length necessary for take-off. It has been said, of course, that the first hop out of Mascot is a short one so that aeroplanes do not carry a full load of fuel and do not need the long runways. That might be true at the moment, but very shortly, as aeroplanes improve, the first stage set-down from Mascot will tend to be further away and we may find that the first hop from Mascot will be a very long one provided the strip is adequate. Recently I was at Biak, a small island, and the strip there was being lengthened to 11,000 feet. Mascot should be improved in the same way.

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